Islamabad: Pakistan and China on Tuesday concluded their third joint air exercise at a Pakistani operational base to strengthen their warfare capabilities, officials said.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and People`s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) participated with their modern jets and support elements in the three-week Joint International Air Exercise Shaheen-III.
Air Marshal Sohail Aman, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations), was the chief guest at the closing ceremony. He also flew in an offensive strike mission package.
Shaheen-III is the third in a series of multi-dimensional joint air exercises with PLAAF conducted annually on alternate basis in both the countries.
A PLAAF delegation led by Major General Zhan Houshun, Commander of Chengdu Regional Air Force Command, witnessed the exercise on the last day.
Zhan expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Commander PLAAF to Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force for sanctioning Shaheen-III Air Exercise, the PAF said in a statement.
While addressing the closing ceremony, he said, "PAF has conducted joint exercises with foreign Air Forces for a long time, obtained great achievements, demonstrated first rate training level & combat efficiency and gained rich experiences that are worth to learn and draw lessons from.
"I am sure that the closure of joint training is not an end but a new starting point which will deepen, broaden and promote the friendship, exchanges and cooperation between China and Pakistan, the two armed forces and specially the two Air Forces," he said.
The air exercise was designed to further strengthen the existing exemplary bonds between two air forces, learn modern air warfare and share operational thoughts among pilots, radar controllers and other team members.
PAF regularly undertakes similar operational exercises both inland and abroad to remain abreast of challenges and response strategies faced by air power in changing threat environment.